CONYERS -- Rockdale County Public Schools may operate with fewer teachers next year, even though the system expects some student growth.
The Rockdale County Board of Education approved at its monthly meeting last week 807.5 certified teacher allotments as the minimum number of positions needed for the 2011-12 school year -- 381 elementary teachers, 162.5 middle school teachers and 264 high school teachers.
"This is a reduction of four regular education teachers for next school year," said RCPS Superintendent Samuel King in his recommendation to the school board. "The approval of a minimum number of certified staff positions is crucial in order to allow principals an adequate window for interviewing and securing quality personnel for the upcoming school year."
Most reductions of this size typically occur through natural attrition when employees resign or retire, school officials have said.
Allotments are based on student enrollment, which is projected at 15,822 students for the 2011-12 school year. For this school year, RCPS officials had projected 16,050 students.
RCPS Chief Financial Officer Lee Davis said this is a preliminary report and any changes will be presented to the school board with its budget.
The system is currently accepting budget suggestions on its website, www.rockdale.k12.ga.us, to gain input from the public until Feb. 18.
From February until April, school and system administrators will prepare and review budget proposals at schools and for central office departments, and the budget committee will prepare a system budget.
The first public meeting to discuss the budget is scheduled to be held at 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in the board room at the RCPS central complex, which is located at 954 N. Main St. in Olde Town Conyers. The next public meeting for budget discussions will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9, in the same location.
Staffing and salary schedules will be determined in April, and the school board is expected to adopt a tentative budget on May 19.
The board is expected to approve a final budget on June 16 and a millage rate on July 21.